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Dr. Donna Flaherty
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Dr. Donna Flaherty is the new Executive Director at ACCEPT Education Collaborative. Prior to joining ACCEPT Dr. Flaherty worked as Assistant Superintendent of Student Services in North Andover and as the Director of Special Education for Georgetown MA Public Schools and Director of Special Education for the City of Battle Creek, Michigan. Her experience includes work as an Assistant Principal, ELA and Mathematics Teacher in Hudson, New Hampshire as well as a Learning Disabilities Specialist for the City of Manchester in New Hampshire. She received her Doctor of Education: Leadership and Learning from Rivier University as well as a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies Educational Leadership; a Master of Education: Special Education; a Master of Education: Elementary Education also from Rivier University. Dr. Flaherty received her Bachelor of Science: Computer Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
Jescah Apamo-Gannon, MS.Ed., BCBA, LABA
DIRECTOR HOME-BASED SERVICES & MCAS COORDINATOR
Jescah oversees all aspects of our home-based programs and serves as the MCAS Coordinator. She holds DESE licenses as Special Education Administrator, Teacher of Students with Severe Special Needs (All levels), Transition Specialist & Autism Specialist and is also a DESE MCAS-Alt Training Specialist. Jescah is a Board Certified & Licensed Behavior Analyst (BCBA & LABA) with a Master of Science degree in Education from Simmons University and an Advanced Post-Graduate certification (ATP) in Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University. Currently, Jescah is a PhD candidate in Behavior Analysis at Simmons University. She has 15 years experience across diverse settings; public & private schools and homes. Prior to her position at ACCEPT, Jescah worked as a special education teacher, practicum supervisor and home-based BCBA. She is a adjunct professor and has served on various boards, including the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Council for Exceptional Children as Chair of Membership from 2014 to 2017. Jescah was the 2016 recipient of the Susan S. Rees Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Anne Donovan M.Ed., BCBA, LABA
DIRECTOR SCHOOL CONSULTATION
Anne Donovan has been serving as the Director of ACCEPT Education Collaborative’s School Consultation & Evaluation Services for over 10 years. She received a Masters Degree in Education and is a licensed special education administrator and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Anne has extensive experience working with public school districts and Collaboratives to develop a range of special education programs and services and provide professional development opportunities to build districts' capacity to meet the needs of diverse student populations. She has presented at numerous regional conferences and workshops and also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at Bridgewater State University and Framingham State University where she teaches graduate level courses. Anne has an advanced certification in Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) and she has also participated in several initiatives with the Massachusetts DESE, including being a trained strategic planning facilitator using the Planning for Success (PfS) framework.
Cathleen Ellis
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Cathleen has been with ACCEPT for five years and is responsible for all areas of finance, Payroll/HR, budgeting and planning. Cathleen has experience working in non-profits and corporations as Treasurer, Director of Financial Systems, Accountant and various business/finance roles. Cathleen is licensed with DESE as a School Business Administrator. She earned a Masters degree from Bentley University and a Bachelors degree from Ithaca College in Accounting and Information Technology.
ALINA KANTOR NIR
DIRECTOR OF STUDENT SERVICES
Alina is the new Director of Student Services at ACCEPT Education Collaborative. Prior to joining ACCEPT Alina was the Out of District Coordinator for Framingham Public Schools. In addition to her experience in Framingham, Alina has worked as a lawyer focusing on special education. She has worked for both families and school districts, having developed the Education Law Project at Community Aid in Worcester, as well as having worked as legal counsel for multiple school districts.
Kathryn Lawless
MEDICAID PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Katie has been with ACCEPT's Medicaid Services group for eight years. As Medicaid Program Coordinator, she is responsible for helping both member and non-member school districts obtain reimbursement from Medicaid for services provided to eligible students with special needs. Katie has a BA from the College of the Holy Cross and an MBA from the F.W. Olin School of Business at Babson College, and has business experience in management consulting, marketing, and operations.
Dalexis Valdez
TRANSPORTATION MANAGER
Dalexis has been in the non profit sector for over 10 years. Currently serving as the transportation manager for ACCEPT. In his career Dalexis has served in several roles in operations throughout Massachusetts in order to provide high quality programs. As transportation manager, Dalexis oversees all aspects and operations including district, family and school relationships.